Monday, October 19, 2020

The Giant: A Novel of Michelangelo's David by Laura Morelli (Review)

Once again, Laura Morelli transports us to Italy, this time to medieval Florence where Michelangelo sets to create the splendid David sculpture. The topic and the book cover attracted me instantly!

Book Details:

Book Title: The Giant: A Novel of Michelangelo's David by Laura Morelli
Category: Adult Fiction, 362 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: The Scriptorium
Release date: May 31, 2020
Content Rating: PG (themes of depression and gambling)

Book Description:

As a colossal statue takes shape in Renaissance Florence, the lives of a master sculptor and a struggling painter become stunningly intertwined.

Florence, 1500. Fresco painter Jacopo Torni longs to make his mark in the world. But while his peers enjoy prestigious commissions, his meager painting jobs are all earmarked to pay down gambling debts.

When Jacopo hears of a competition to create Florence's greatest sculpture, he pins all his hopes on a collaboration with his boyhood companion, Michelangelo Buonarroti. But will the frustrated artist ever emerge from the shadow of his singularly gifted friend?

From the author of THE PAINTER'S APPRENTICE and THE GONDOLA MAKER comes a gorgeously crafted, immersive tale of Renaissance Italy.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Once again, art historian Laura Morelli has written a stunning novel that easily transports us to Florence in the early 1500s when Michelangelo gets the commission to create a sculpture from the giant rectangle of marble that has been sitting idle for more than forty years.

As I started reading the novel, I realized the story was going to be told by Jacopo Torni, a childhood friend of Michelangelo, and that he was the main character and not Michelangelo. Jacopo was somewhat of a tortured soul. He was a gambler, a joker, an irresponsible older brother, but most of all, an insecure talented artist. There were times when I just wanted to shake him, when I was puzzled by his behaviour, or when I wondered when the story would gain some momentum. But as I kept reading, I began to have a better picture of this man who I think could have had bipolar disorder.

Jacopo and Michelangelo had a love/hate relationship, but in the end they were friends. The best part of the novel for me was seeing Michelangelo and his artistry through Jacopo's eyes, especially as the majestic David sculpture was unveiled and then slowly wheeled to where it would stand on display in Florence. I could feel the excitement, the awe and the pride the people felt displaying this masterpiece, this genius work of art. What a time in history that was.

Morelli, of course, brings Renaissance Florence to life. Its people, their way of life (with their lack of washing!), their art, and their political and cultural issues. Jacopo was an artist, a painter of frescoes, with this particular art technique brought to life. I went online several times to look at photos of the art mentioned in this book, especially Michelangelo's David. I now want more than ever to travel to Florence to see the David, the frescoes and all the beautiful art of the Renaissance.

Disclosure: I bought a Kindle copy. I was not told how to rate or review this product.

Buy The Book:

About the Author:

Laura Morelli holds a PhD in art history from Yale University and has taught at the college level in the United States and in Italy. She is a TED-Ed educator and a columnist for National Geographic Traveler and Italy Magazine. Her debut novel, The Gondola Maker, garnered IPPY and Benjamin Franklin awards. 

Connect with Laura here:

Share this:


Thank you for commenting! I appreciate your feedback.

Visit Us Today

Visit Us Today
iRead: getting your book in the hands of readers
Back To Top
Copyright © 2009-2017 Laura Fabiani Library of Clean Reads . Designed by OddThemes OddThemes